Tooting their own horn

Marching band advances in state competition


Photo by Rachel Lewis

Junior Ronnie Ellis plays saxophone at the Sulphur Springs halftime performance.

Story by Sara Vaughn, video editor

On Oct. 13, the Texas High Marching band traveled to Mount Pleasant to compete in the Region IV UIL Marching Competition with many other bands from surrounding areas.

The band received a superior rating on their 2015 show, “A Nu World,” and will head to Mesquite, Texas to compete in the Area Marching Contest Oct. 24. The band is under the field direction of junior Odin Contreras and seniors Elizabeth Colvin and Alanna Tran.


“It’s [scored] on a scale of one to five. One being the best you can get and five being the worst,” Contreras said. “If you get a one it means you did the best you could have on that performance. That’s really good, especially at regionals because if you get a one you get to advance to the next level.”

Because 5A schools can only advance every two years, both juniors and seniors are facing their final competitive marching season. Being able to go to area is a special achievement.

“I’m very excited that we qualified for area because the opportunity to do so only occurs every two years and this is my last opportunity to advance to state,” Tran said. “I’m really proud of the band for working so hard.”

Band members have been preparing for this marching season with summer rehearsals and fundamental camps, also called fun-camps. The band practices every morning before school to fine-tune any problems in the show.

“We started before school ended [last year]. We brought our freshmen in and had little fun-camps [to start] setting a foundation of our expectations for everybody,” Colvin said. “We pounded [the] fundamentals in everyone and had everyone know their purpose and why they’re doing it and what goal we are reaching for.”

The rigorous practices will continue to prepare band members to compete in the area contest. Many have high expectations for the band.

“Our goal is to make finals this weekend at area; that’s a big deal,” band director Arnie Lawson said. “The bands who make finals in our area are among the best in the state. The ones who make it to state from area are habitual finalists at state as well. Sherman, Waxahachie and Poteet have all placed in the finals or won the state marching contest. That’s a big accomplishment and that’s what we are hoping for.”